The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine

Having Healthy Feet Begins At Home: The Top 5 DIY Remedies For Foot Pain

Posted by on Friday, September 13th, 2013

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Naturally, we want you to come see us at the first sign of trouble. Pain in the foot is not a “normal” part of the wear-and-tear the feet go through each day. A bit of aching after a long day on your feet or a bruise after dropping an item on your foot are to be expected, but you should not wake up suffering the next day. We understand that most people do try to avoid doctors as much as possible. So we’re offering you a bit of advice on how to alleviate some of your foot pain at home in the meantime. These techniques can be used alongside professional medical care to maximize your treatments.

foot pain causes
Image Source: InStepSpecialists.com

Foot Pain Relief Method #1: Taping

Taping the foot is a common treatment for plantar fasciitis / heel pain, broken toes, ankle pain and blisters. It’s recommended that you tape the foot while going through your day-to-day activities, but take it off at night and during periods of rest to give your feet a chance to breathe. Here is a demonstration on the best method for plantar fasciitis foot taping:

foot taping plantar fasciitis
Image Source: Heel-That-Pain.com

Foot Pain Relief Method #2: Rollers

Rollers are a bit like a poor man’s massage. If you can spring for the professional masseuse, by all means do it! The rest of us can get a little relief along an aching foot arch by rolling a frozen water bottle back and forth along the floor. A golf or tennis ball is another option. They also sell special foam rollers for loosening tight muscles, tendons and ligaments on the bottom of the foot on a regular basis. Since this part of the foot connects with the calf muscles, many people will feel relief all the way up the leg from this simple activity.

Foot Pain Relief Method #3: Stretching

A few days ago, we wrote about stretches especially designed for arthritis sufferers. These same stretches can also help alleviate day to day foot pain as well. Sometimes tight calves are the cause of foot pain. Fit Sugar recommends doing these stretches to target the back of your lower leg. We find one of the most rewarding stretches is to raise the heels up off the ground, balancing on both balls of the feet for a few seconds to stretch out the calves and arches.

heel raises
Image Source: ExperiencePhysio.ca

Foot Pain Relief Method #4: Soaking or Icing

You may find it feels very enjoyable to soak your aching feet in a bath of peppermint oil and hot water for 30 minutes. According to Harvard Health, you will only want to indulge  in a warm bath if your skin feels normal or cool to the touch. On the other hand, if your foot feels flush or inflamed, a cold treatment may be in order. Channel 7 News in Albuquerque recommends icing the foot, which provides “immediate relief and long-term  benefits.” Ice will help treat any type of inflammation and swelling of the feet and ankles. This is especially important following any type of injury.

Foot Pain Relief Method #5: Shoe Switcheroo

According to Philly.com, “One of the easiest things to do but the one thing people like doing the least is changing footwear.” Shoes need to be replaced regularly to be efficient at protecting your feet. At minimum, you should be replacing your most-worn shoes annually. When shopping, go at the end of the day when your feet are most swollen. Look for footwear with a wide/deep toe-box, no or low heels, allow half an inch of space between your longest toe and the end of the shoe, look for a rigid heel and flexible sole, and search for breathable materials. We recommend rotating between a few different pairs of shoes to avoid overuse injury. For some people with chronic foot pain, a new pair of shoes is not enough. A podiatrist can fit you with custom insoles to compensate for flat feet, high arches, fallen arches, excessive pronation, or other common foot conditions.

Oh, And One More Thing…

Also, don’t overlook old vanguards of standard pain relief, such as ibuprofen or aspirin, as well as muscle relaxers like Icy Hot. While not a way of curing the root cause of your pain, at least you will be able to take the edge off until you can come see us at Dr. Geldwert’s!

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If you have any foot problems or pain, contact The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports MedicineDr. Josef J. GeldwertDr. Katherine Lai, Dr. Ryan Minara and Dr. Mariola Rivera have helped thousands of people get back on their feet. Unfortunately, we cannot give diagnoses or treatment advice online. Please make an appointment to see us if you live in the NY metropolitan area or seek out a podiatrist in your area.